Nunag Angelito - « Dealing with natural hazards through local knowledge: the people from Talim Island’s (Taga-isla) patterns of thought, cosmology and the worlds beyond the human».

ESPO Louvain-La-Neuve, Mons

26 avril 2021


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Le recteur de l’Université de Louvain fait savoir que

Nunag Angelito

soutiendra publiquement sa dissertation pour l'obtention du titre de Docteur en Sciences Politiques et Sociales

« Dealing with natural hazards through local knowledge: the people from Talim Island’s (Taga-isla) patterns of thought, cosmology and the worlds beyond the human»


The thesis tackles the Taga-isla’s, people from Talim Island, approach to dealing with natural hazards through local knowledge. It zeroes in on their cognition or patterns of thought, cosmology and constant interaction and intimate relationship with the elements and nonhuman life forms, which I call conversation, highlighting the interconnection between their worlds. Accordingly, it probes the domain of the elements and brings to light the structure, relationships and patterns of the winds, which are deeply embedded and suffused with the inhabitants’ consciousness and way of life and vital in coming to terms with hydrometeorological phenomena and masamang panahon, the local concept for hydrometeorological hazards. Through valorization of local knowledge, it also examines how resiliency is entrenched in local cosmology, underlining the taga-isla’s curious relationship with the element and their worldview. In this light, it looks into their ways of construing their surroundings in view of ensuing natural hazards and how strategies are formulated based on these interpretations. On that account, it investigates the interplay between their behaviors and the elements, and how this interplay impacts the formulation of strategies and mechanisms for grappling with masamang panahon. Following this lead, it explores their relationship with nonhuman life forms and brings to the fore the essentiality of the latter’s behaviors in managing the said hazard. Corollary, it tackles the worlds beyond the human and the life forms that inhabit them vis-à-vis the taga-isla themselves and their world. It presents through ethnography how nonhuman life forms may come to know things on their own, possess consciousness and intentionality, and exercise agency- capabilities that are imperative not only in understanding their relationships with one another but also in grasping how the taga-isla come to grips with masamang panahon. In closing, the thesis underscores the importance of mind’s parsing of physical reality over reality itself and the value of nonhuman conversations, and on this basis, conjectures that discussions on resiliency and adaptability to natural hazards at the local level must begin with the unveiling of the structures of local cognition and the centrality of transspecies relationships.

Members of the jury

Professor Olivier Servais (UCLouvain), promotor et secretary
Professor Julie Hermesse (UCLouvain), co-promotor
Professor Soledad Natalia Dalisay (University of the Philippines, Diliman)
Professor Serge Schmitz (U. Liège)
Professor Frédéric Laugrand, Chair of the jury